Dozens of Colorado law professors sign letter urging senators against Kavanaugh confirmation

Florence Lopez
October 5, 2018

US senators, expected to vote Friday morning on the confirmation of President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, are still highly divided along partisan lines over the results of a probe into allegations of sexual misconduct against the judge. The Senate plans a final confirmation vote on Saturday.

The report arrived at a Capitol palpably tense over the political stakes of the nomination fight and from aggressive anti-Kavanaugh protesters who have rattled and reportedly harassed senators.

Most Democrats opposed Mr Trump's nomination of Mr Kavanaugh from the outset.

Two Republican "no" votes could sink the nomination.

Should Republicans get the majority of votes they need - and vice president Mike Pence is available to cast the tiebreaker, if necessary - that would set up a decisive roll call on his confirmation, probably over the weekend.

Many Democrats-even some who said a one-week investigation would be sufficient-have criticized the report, saying not enough witnesses were interviewed.

Ford and Kavanaugh testified at a dramatic Senate Judiciary Committee hearing last week in which she described the alleged assault, and Kavanaugh denied all of the allegations against him, while accusing the Democrats of a political "hit".

President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee wrote an op-ed in Friday morning's Wall Street Journal, describing himself as an "Independent, impartial judge" and admits he "might have been too emotional" during his testimony last week. "I might have been too emotional at times", he wrote.

A major procedural vote in the Senate, which the GOP controls 51-49, is planned for Friday.

Senators Jeff Flake (R-Arizona), Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) had been undecided on Kavanaugh, but Flake and Collins both said on Thursday that the report seemed "thorough", hinting that they would vote to confirm the judge.

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The Senate Judiciary Committee, along with the White House received the FBI's supplemental background investigation into Kavanaugh on Wednesday.

"In addition to the evidence I requested in my October 2 letter, in light of recently uncovered information, please turn over records and descriptions of direct or indirect communications between Dr. Ford or her representatives and any of of the following: (1) U.S. Senators or their staffs, particularly the offices of Senators Feinstein and Hirono... We did not agree that the White House should tie the FBI's hands", she said.

Schumer, D-N.Y., who appeared beside her at a news conference, blamed the White House for the limited scope of the latest probe. Instead, senators from each party will take 1-hour turns to review a single copy of the Federal Bureau of Investigation document in a secure room in the basement of the Capitol.

DIANNE FEINSTEIN: The most notable part of this report is what's not in it.

The report was not released to the public.

Moreover, the inquiry focused mainly on the account of Ford, the research psychologist who alleges that a drunken Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were high school students in the Washington suburbs. Flake was instrumental in getting Trump to order the FBI investigation last Friday.

However, lawyers for his first accuser, Prof Ford, said that she had not been contacted by the agency.

"I'm a survivor myself, and I didn't really tell my story, it happened in high school", Cathcart said at the District Court. No Republicans have said they will vote against Kavanaugh. But he did not apologize for his behavior at the hearing, in which he interrupted senators, turned questions about drinking back on them and seeded his opening remarks with comments about "revenge on behalf of the Clintons" and left-wing groups. Kavanaugh also testified and denied the allegations.

On Kavanaugh, Heitkamp told WDAY, a TV station in Fargo, "the process has been bad, but at the end of the day you have to make a decision and I've made that decision". However, the calendars he presented during his testimony showed that Kavanaugh had scheduled gatherings strikingly similar to the one Ford described.

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